Operation Warm gifts Carver elementary students new coats

Christmas came early for hundreds of George W. Carver Elementary School students Wednesday.

As part of “Operation Warm,” every student received a new coat to keep them warm throughout the winter. For some students and families, it meant one less thing to worry about during the holiday season.

“It’s going to help me because I’m not going to get sick and it has fur inside,” said Taylar Neal, a fourth-grader at Carver Elementary School.

Tables with stacks and stacks of jackets in every color lined the school’s auditorium Wednesday. The smiles on the faces of children were made possible by the Richmond Firefighter’s Association, Richmond Police, Unos, Rosie’s and Councilwoman Kim Gray.

“It’s really exciting to be able to provide for a need, a very important need, in the community,” Gray said.

Almost $15,000 was raised, making it possible to buy nearly 900 new coats.

Former NFL football player and Richmond native Billy McCullen told 8News the gesture meant a lot to students.

“It’s not always peaches and cream in the neighborhood, so sometimes the simple things that we take for granted like a coat goes far,” McCullen, who volunteers at Carver, told 8News.

In addition to supplying Carver students with new jackets, Operation Warm was also able to provide jackets for two Richmond preschools.